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Composition and Literary Studies (English): Open Educational Resources

How to access quality information about English Literature and literary criticism, including books, periodical articles, and web sites. Research help, writing & grammar, and writing & citation help are covered.

What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

"Open Educational Resources" by Ron Mader is licensed under CC BY 2.0

OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. ~ William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

For a more comprehensive overview on OER, see:

  • Open Educational Resources - a guide designed to assist faculty in the exploration, identification, selection and adoption of Open Educational Resources.


Search Tips!

In addition to using the search engines and repositories linked on this guide, you can also use advanced search features when searching Google, YouTube or Flickr, to find and locate OER. You will still need to confirm the individual license of the object you select to assure it meets the appropriate CC license.

Google - Use the Advanced Search. Under Usage Rights select to limit your results to resources which are free to use, modify or share. More from Google on Usage Rights.

YouTube - After searching by keyword in YouTube, use the Filters feature to filter your results to videos with a Creative Commons License. Looking for more videos? View the Images, Audio & Video tab!

Flickr - After searching by keyword in Flickr, use the Any License filter feature to filter your results to the appropriate usage license which best suits your usage of the work. Looking for more images?  View the Images, Audio & Video tab!



Open Educational Resources for English Language Arts

Below is a sample of several OER repositories, textbooks, and course materials covering the subject area of English Language Arts. Additional OER in your subject may be found by searching the resources listed on the ACC Libraries' primary Open Educational Resources Guide.

OER Repositories:

OER Commons - filtered for English Language Arts 

Open Textbook Library - filtered for Literature, Rhetoric, and Poetry

OASIS - filtered for English Language Arts  

MERLOT - filtered for English 

Excelsior: Online Writing Lab - offers a wide variety of interactive multimedia activities, quizzes, videos, and interactive PDFs – all designed to help writers understand important concepts about writing.

Writing Commons - the encyclopedia for writers, researchers, and knowledge workers

Open Oregon: Educational Resources - filtered for writing  

LibreTexts - filtered for introductory compostion 

LibreTexts - filtered for advanced compostion

OER Textbooks:

About Writing: A Guide - This writer’s reference condenses and covers everything a beginning writing student needs to successfully compose college-level work, including the basics of composition, grammar, and research. It is broken down into easy-to-tackle sections, while not overloading students with more information than they need. Great for any beginning writing students or as reference for advanced students! 

Compact Anthology of World Literature - A world literature class may be the first place that some students have encountered European works, let alone non-Western texts. The emphasis in this anthology, therefore, is on non-Western and European works, with only the British authors who were the most influential to European and non-Western authors (such as Shakespeare, whose works have influenced authors around the world to the present day). In a world literature class, there is no way that a student can be equally familiar with all of the societies, contexts, time periods, cultures, religions, and languages that they will encounter; even though the works presented here are translated, students will face issues such as unfamiliar names and parts of the story (such as puns) that may not translate well or at all. Since these stories are rooted in their cultures and time periods, it is necessary to know the basic context of each work to understand the expectations of the original audience.

English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate - A textbook designed for students to learn the foundational concepts of English Composition (first-year college composition). 

An Open Companion for British Literature I: An Anthology and Guide - An anthology to the great works of early British literature and a guide for future students. Designed by ACC Assistant Professor of English Allegra Villareal. 

The Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature - This anthology moves to answer the question "what is American Literature?" by framing the texts in new and provocative ways that fit the modern age. 

Technical Writing - A textbook focusing on writing in the workplace, with an emphasis on audience analysis, writing for specific situations, document design, research processes, and visual aids.

Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature 1865 to Present - A text that surveys key literary movements and the American authors associated with the movement. 

Writing for Success - A textbook covering basic writing and composition skills.  

Writing and Literature: Composition as Inquiry, Learning, Thinking, and Communication - This composition textbook emphasizes the importance of critical reading and analysis in producing a successful composition.

Let's get Writing! - This introductory composition textbook is designed to exemplify how writers think about and produce text.

English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate - designed for students to learn the foundational concepts for first-year college writing. This textbook contains five sections: (1) Success Skills for College Learning and Intellectual Growth, (2) The Writing Process, (3) Essay Structure, (4) Types of Essays, and (5) Research Skills.

The Rough Writer's Guide: A Handbook for Writing Well - The Guide provides students with help navigating academic writing, including all aspects of the writing process, MLA and APA formatting, and grammatical and mechanical issues.

The Word on College Reading and Writing - This interactive, multimedia text includes examples, exercises, and definitions for just about every reading- and writing-related topic students will encounter in their college courses.

You, Writing! A Guide to College Composition -  This text is meant to be used in any first-year College Composition class or as a general guide to college writing. The book focuses on writing as a process, not a product. The goal is to help students discover their own writing process, trying out different methods and strategies to find what works best for them.

The Process of Research Writing - The goal of this book is to guide you through this process of research writing by emphasizing a series of exercises that touch on different and related parts of the research process.

Successful College Composition - This text is a transformation of Writing for Success, a text adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

How Arguments Work: A Guide to Writing and Analyzing - This textbook takes students through the techniques they will need to respond to readings and make sophisticated arguments in any college class.  This is a practical guide to argumentation with strategies and templates for the kinds of assignments students will commonly encounter. It covers rhetorical concepts in everyday language and explores how arguments can build trust and move readers. 

OER Supplemental Course Materials:

88 Open Essays: A Reader for Students of Composition and Rhetoric - A collection intended to fill the gap left by publishers' textbooks which included writing samples for discussion and analysis.  It exists as a Google doc so it is easy to make a copy of it and pick and choose which essays best fit your students and syllabus.

Othello Teaching Project - Through assignments on and discussions of Shakespeare's Othello, this project seeks to explore thoughts on controversial social issues such as race, migration, politics, rule of law, sex, gender, and domestic violence. 

Composition Reading Bank - A repository of links to freely available texts that replaces a traditional reader for Composition courses. 

Auburn University Writing Resources - Resources developed to support students and instructors across the disciplines in their writing and writing instruction. We define writing broadly, so you will find resources on ePortfolios, visual design, professional communication, and presentations in addition to traditional writing tasks like reflective writing, literature reviews, peer review, and editing and proofing.

RUwrite - This digital learning experience will guide you through the fundamentals of excellent writing.




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